Making Adult Learning Active and Keeping It Flowing

Making Adult Learning Active and Keeping It Flowing

Making Adult Learning Active and Keeping It Flowing

Have you ever sat through a training session where the trainer did the majority of the talking? How about a session where there was little interaction between attendees? If you answered yes to either of these questions you know why it is important for you too facilitate information exchange and provide opportunities for active participant engagement during learning.

Making Adult Learning Active and Keeping It Flowing by The Creative Trainer

Here are a variety of strategies that you can build into your training design to help ensure that participants get the most from a learning experience.

  • Design lesson plans and materials that are interactive and allow learners to take meaningful notes, move around the room and engage with the facilitator and other attendees.
  • Put learning objectives in writing (e.g. in handouts, on writing dry erase board or flip chart or on a slide) and review them at the beginning of the session. This will help learners to focus on key concepts during the session while providing a point of referral as the program progresses, especially for participants with a visual learning preference.
  • To reinforce the learning objectives, ask learners before delivering session concepts on how each might be of value to them in the workplace. This stimulates their brains and gets them thinking positively about how they can potentially apply the learning following the session. During the session, you might also refer to posted copies of the objectives or the handouts and point out concepts that you just covered and how those relate to the objectives.
  • Brain-based learning research indicates that the brain can only process a limited amount of information during a given period. Remember to chunk the material being delivered into small segments (e.g. no more than 7 items, plus or minus two).
  • Provide a break inflow of content every 18-20 minutes or so to allow mental variety and stimulation. This might be to do an instructor-led question and answer segment, break participants into small groups for an activity or to discuss content and brainstorm or some similar event.
  • Tap into the knowledge and experience of your learners. They have more collective expertise than you can hope to amass. Provide opportunities for them to share this with you and one another rather than being the “sage on the stage” with all the answers.

For hundreds of additional training tips, ideas, strategies, and techniques to get learners up and moving, check out The Creative Training Idea Book: Inspired Tips and Techniques for Engaging and Effective Learning, Energize Your Training: Creative Techniques to Engage Learners and Creative Learning: Activities and Games That Really Engage People.

Flip Chart Use – 4 Creative Tips for Trainers, Presenters, and Educators

Flip Chart Use – 4 Creative Tips for Trainers, Presenters, and Educators

Flip charts have been a highly visible, value-demonstrated visual aid for presenting information in training sessions, businesses, social organizations, schools, and religious institutions for decades. Facilitators, educators, managers, trainers, and others involved in gathering and delivering information in group settings have come to rely on the flip chart as a low-tech reliable tool. It is inexpensive and highly versatile in its usage. Creative Tips for Trainers blog article should help you a lot.

Here are four simple strategies for increasing your effectiveness when using flip charts:

1) To draw large even circles on your flip chart pages when you do not have a protractor handy — modify a standard wooden ruler or yard/meter stick.

Simply drill small holes at incremental points (i.e. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 inches or centimeters) in your ruler or yard/meter stick and then place it over your paper.

Next, insert a stick pin, like the ones used to secure the paper to bulletin or cork boards, through the first hole in the ruler or yard/meter stick to secure it to the point you wish to be the center of your circle.

Finally, place the sharp point of a pencil through the hole at the size of the circle you desire (i.e. six inches/centimeters) and rotate the ruler or yardstick around in a fluid motion to draw your circle.

Flip Chart Use – 3 Creative Ways To Attach Flip Chart Pages to Your Walls

2) To reduce wear and damage to your pre-drawn flip charts page try permanently mounting a three-inch strip of masking or painters tape (two-inches in length) horizontally on the back of each page in all four corners.

You can then put a rolled piece of tape on top of each of these whenever you need to use the page and tape it to the wall.

This decreases the chance of ripping a page by removing tape directly from the back after using it.

Flip CHart Use - 4 Creative Tips for Trainers, Presenters and Educators

3) In a training or brainstorming session when someone offers an issue, idea, expectation, concern or whatever that is not part of the planned agenda, create a flip chart entitled Important Issues on the spot.

Tell learners the person offering the information that while their item is important and of concern, it is crucial to get through the planned agenda before addressing extra issues. Also, explain that if time permits at the end of the session you will revisit items on the sheet. If that is not possible, tell them you will either meet privately or schedule another meeting to address the items, as appropriate.

This approach recognizes the importance of identifying and capturing issues of interest to participants without sacrificing valuable program time or getting off track.

Flip Chart Use - 4 Creative Tips for Trainers, Presenters and Educators

4) Use pertinent photos, drawings, or cartoons of people to your flip chart pages in order to support or complement the text on the sheet. Select images that tie into the theme or topic of your session or meeting.

When positioning your images, position them so that the person is facing or looking toward the text. This subtle technique is more visually appealing since the figure seems to be looking at what you wrote.

For additional creative ideas for designing, preparing, using, transporting, and storing flip charts, get a copy of The Big Book of Flip Charts: A Comprehensive Guide for Presenters, Trainers, and Meeting Facilitators.